Asset management software is a digitalised system that allows you to track and record assets throughout their entire life cycle, from planning and acquisition to disposal and replacement. By doing so, it enables businesses to maximise their Return on Investment (ROI) from each asset. As well as reducing costs on expenditures such as equipment procurement and maintenance.
An effective asset management system also provides the tools necessary for businesses to manage their entire catalogue of business assets in one centralised asset register system. As well as providing data to understand where your assets are located, which personnel are using them, and how they’re being used.
A typical asset management software solution will feature the tools necessary to manage a variety of different assets, including both hardware and software (Software Asset Management). This includes your fixed assets, digital assets, IT assets, and tangible assets. In this guide to asset management software, we’ll cover:
What is Asset Management Software?
Asset Management Software is a solution designed to increase the usability of your business assets. In particular, those assets that are critical for your business’s day-to-day operations. That includes managing the upkeep of tangible and fixed assets such as property and physical equipment. As well as monitoring digital assets such as computers and software licences.
Finding the best asset management software for your operations is crucial. Essentially, the right system will provide the tools and features necessary to improve the efficiency of how you track and monitor your assets. A typical solution will include features such as:
By monitoring an asset's entire life cycle, you're able to build a system packed full of valuable asset data. Once collected, this data allows asset managers to forecast future acquisitions with better accuracy. As well as gaining a holistic view of where to reduce asset expenditure.
Depending on the size of your business and the number of assets, the data collected by an asset management software solution can be vast. With the right technology, AMS systems are able to collect information such as real-time performance data. As well as user permission, total usage, and scheduled maintenance. The latter being essential for avoiding unplanned downtime, which costs businesses $260,000 per hour on average in 2016.
By collecting and analysing asset data collecting by an asset management tool, businesses are able to determine each asset's Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). With this data, they can highlight if owning an asset outweighs the total running and maintenance costs. Making it easier to decide when, or if, an ageing asset should be replaced or disposed of. With the aim of maximising an asset's overall Return on Investment (ROI).
Deploying asset management software to help track and monitor your entire register of assets can be beneficial to the way your business operates and generates revenue. As well as ensuring a good ROI on each asset and enabling peak performance from your equipment, a typical asset management system has the tools to provide benefits such as:
- Producing an accurate and accessible asset register to monitor all assets in one centralised system
- Tracking the real-time location of each asset
- Manage assets from different locations and facilities
- Monitoring and track each asset’s operational performance
- Providing efficient and accurate financial planning
- Reducing procurement expenditure
- Implementing preventive maintenance to reduce costs and downtime
- Accurately measuring asset life cycles from planning to disposal
Typical Assets Managed with Asset Management Software
As with most businesses, from small and medium businesses (SMBs) to large companies and enterprises, it’s important to have complete knowledge of your assets. This is particularly true for assets that are critical for generating revenue. For example, the owner of a coffee shop will want to understand the entire life cycle of their most important asset; the coffee machine.
Asset management software provides the tools necessary to collect data and understand each of your assets. Eventually allowing you to compile a complete database of their entire life cycles. Along with other systems such as Software Asset Management, IT Asset Management, and Enterprise Asset Management, you’re able to track all types of different assets. A typical asset management system will deploy the tools to track assets such as:
Fixed asset management can be referred to as non-current asset management or long-term asset management. Long-live fixed assets include:
The management of IT and digial assets, also known as IT asset management, includes both your hardware and software assets. Digital assets include:
- Digital files
- Software licenses
Tangible assets are the physical assets that you have in your workplace. This includes fixed assets like buildings and equipment. As well as assets such as:
- Office supplies
As opposed to your tangible assets, non-tangible assets do not have a physical presence. Intangible assets include:
What are the Common Features Found in an Asset Management System?
An effective asset management software solution is packed full of tools and features that help to track and monitor an asset’s life cycle throughout the workplace. But, depending on which asset management system is best for you, AMS features can differ. Typical features that can be found in most asset management software tools include:
Property, Facilities & Building Management
5 to 20% of overall fixed asset costs are contributed by properties, facilities or buildings. But, having the ability to perform effective property asset management can help. It can record purchase prices, appreciation, depreciation and the final disposal price of your fixed assets.
Most accounting standards, such as GAAP, IFRS, and BSI, require you to disclose all of your assets. To help, businesses will use an asset management solution to accurately track the value of their assets.
Apart from the financial requirement, properties and facilities require planned maintenance. As well as cleaning, security management, visitor tracking and energy management. An asset management system can help to schedule, record and report on these activities.
A modern property asset management software can provide a framework for the following:
- Develop and maintain an effective Fixed Asset Register
- Calculate the appreciation and depreciation of fixed assets
- Schedule, track and monitor maintenance activities
- Record cleaning activities
- Manage workplace layout
- Track visitors and occupants for safety and security
- Energy management of properties
Software and Hardware Asset Management
Businesses can collect a lot of valuable data from their IT assets. Including real-time location, work order status, users, usage and license renewals. A cloud-based asset management system helps businesses to maintain an accurate asset register of their digital assets.
Along with hardware, a key asset included in most asset registers is software. Software Asset Management can help businesses to reduce the cost of software ownership. As well as optimise the number of software assets required, and maintain compliance with vendor contracts.
Tagging, Tracking, and Reporting your hardware assets can help with their procurement and disposal. And, importantly, companies can understand which employee uses each asset.
A contemporary inventory management Solution can:
- Provide an on-demand view of your Inventory
- Manage entitlements and endpoints
- Know the usage data of your Cloud and On-Premise IT Assets
- Ring-fence your IT Network to be cyber safe
- Monitor compliance with software vendor contracts
- Easily know what assets you have and who are using them
Equipment and Machinery Management
Unplanned downtime in equipment and machinery can cost 3 to 18% of total revenue. So, businesses prefer to maximise the uptime of their machinery.
An asset management software provides a framework that can help schedule planned, preventative and reactive maintenance. This includes scheduling maintenance, organising internal and external engineers, and issuing work orders. As well as purchasing spare parts and planning for disposal. Asset management tools that specialise in equipment and maintenance management are called Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS).
Maintaining equipment and machinery, production targets and company targets are interlinked. Most cloud-based asset management tools help to organise your planned and preventative maintenance in such a way that it has minimal impact on production.
An effective technology used in most AMS solutions is the Internet of Things (IoT). This allows equipment and machinery to talk to each other. Transmitting operating conditions such as temperature, pressure, and service status. IoT devices can capture this data and provide insightful reports to increase the uptime of machinery.
An effective computerised maintenance management system will help you to:
- Schedule planned and preventative maintenance activities
- Assign jobs to internal and external maintenance engineers
- Order replacement parts
- Optimise maintenance costs
- Effectively manage reactive maintenance activities
- Improve age and uptime of your equipment and machinery
Stock or Inventory Management
The asset tracking function of an AMS is often used to track stock and inventory. As well as fixed assets such as buildings, properties and facilities. As the UK Accounting practice requires companies to declare their assets, this feature can be effective. Allowing businesses to record all their assets in one place; known as an asset register.
The technology used in tracking your stock and inventory can be RFID, Barcodes and NFC. Quite often, a hand-held scanner is used in reading an asset.
Typically, inventory is connected with users, location and projects. In some cases, it can be leased as well.
A modern cloud-based asset management tool allows companies to know the detailed status of all their stock and inventory and will help you to:
- Reduce and eliminate ghost assets
- Track leased and owned inventory
- Use RFID, Barcodes and Handheld scanners to Tag, Track and Report on your stock and inventory
Just like properties and inventory, modern asset management tools can help to track the location of fleet assets. The technology often used in tracking fleet assets is Global Positioning System (GPS). As well as digitalised tools such as Fleet Management Software.
Asset Management Tools specialised to manage fleet are called fleet asset management tools. These tools can provide businesses with a variety of vital data, such as the speed of each fleet asset. For example, defined rules and protocols can be scheduled and monitored for fleet vehicle operators.
A cloud-based fleet asset management solution will:
- Track the location of your fleet assets
- Track speed and traffic compliance of your fleet assets
- Optimise pick-up and delivery routine
- Reduce fleet maintenance costs